Term: Lead Class:  
 vernacular   (0%)
Created 6 June 2017
Last modified 6 June 2017
Contributed by GCW Glossary


Definition: Long, linear areas of open water that range from a few meters to over a kilometer in width, and tens of kilometers long; they develop as ice diverges, or pulls apart.  NSIDCCryosphere 

Any fracture or passage-way through sea ice which is navigable by surface vessels. A more general description of a lead is an area of open water or new ice between ice floes, although the term is generally applied to linear features. If the open area is very large it may be called a polynya. A lead between the shore and the pack ice is called a coastal lead or shore lead, and a lead between the fast ice and the pack ice is called a flaw lead.  ASPECT2012 

A more than 50 m wide rectilinear or wedge-shaped crack from several kilometers to several hundreds of kilometers in length. At below freezing temperatures, new, nilas and young ice forms at the surface of leads.  Bushuyev 

Any fracture or passageway through sea ice that is navigable by surface vessels.  WMOSeaIce 

Sea ice terminology describing any fracture or passageway through ice, which is navigable by surface vessels.  ECCCanada 

A long fracture or separation between ice floes wide enough to be navigated by a ship. A lead may be covered by thin ice.  AMSglossary 

A navigable passage through floating ice. From the point of view of the submariner, a recently frozen lead is an ice skylight.  SPRI